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Old 01-14-2013, 03:52 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 23,320,337 times
Reputation: 4519

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chadd1014 View Post
Rails and trails

I hadn't been aware of the controversy across the lake until today. It seems there are two camps, one that wants the rail ripped up and made into a recreational trail and the other that says no way! $$$

This is a good article I found. Rails and trails for the Adirondacks - AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region

I came across this on another forum

New York State DOT and The Federal Railroad Administration will not allow the rails in question to be ripped up. Even if Iowa Pacific Holdings fails in its attempt to run Pullman service, the tracks will not be torn up. Too many rails have been torn up in the past and it turned out they could have been put to good use in later years. Amtrak tore up a second track between New Haven Conn. and Springfield Mass. back in the 80's and are now in the unenviable position of restoring that same rail for high speed service. Rest assured the feds will not make that mistake twice. New York can position itself very well by having infrastructure in place for future use, if and when the time comes. I think the time is here. One or two trains a day disturbs no ones sleep. Do you think the ATV and snowmobile operators will stay on that trail alone. I think not. They will be all over the place driving everyone crazy. Who will pay to police that mess? You?
Ic , i'm pretty much against Rail trails.... especially with tax dollars they should be done privately. In most cases they destroy viable corridors for future Regional Rail & Freight once those corridors are gone building a new one from scratch is hard & expensive. However the Montreal-Albany-New York HSR would hug the I-87 ROW and not reusing a current line due to the curviness of that line.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Red Hook Brooklyn-winter Derby Line Vermont-summer
281 posts, read 1,078,924 times
Reputation: 160
Love this post all the work that Must have gone into it. Our town here in the NEK has plans to bring in BioTech plants and German Window Manufacturers. How about allowing these people a weekend getaway with a train from Newport.VT to Montreal PQ.It is less thamn 100 miles and alot not all of the rail infrastructure is still there. Also opens up the possibilties of us Vermonters getting to see Canadiens games and big concerts without halving to pay top$ for a downtown MTL hotel. I'd take the train once a month to MTL in all seasons.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,751 posts, read 53,902,796 times
Reputation: 30011
What amazing thread drift in this thread. I've seen schizophrenic hippies on thorazine that could hold a more direct train of thought. Drugs, power, wind power, Rutland city problems, other New England state issues, unions, and now rails to trails, I've seen snow that drifts less... although maybe high speed bicycles on old railbeds could be a way of commuting.

It is fairly obvious that high speed rail in Vermont is a no go. At construction expense measured in the millions of dollars per mile, ongoing high maintenance costs, and low ridership - even if everyone in the state commuted twice daily on it - it just ain't goinna happen, thanks for playing. The thread was bizarrely entertaining though.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:50 PM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,921 times
Reputation: 606
Most threads have guardrails....this one was like a 40 miles wide highway as far as guardrails go.....

Like a tennis match that kept changing balls....
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Randolph, VT
72 posts, read 85,301 times
Reputation: 60
I haven't refreshed my memory of the whole thread, but rails-to-trails is a legit concern.

I would never in a million years advocate for high-speed rail in VT. What I would like to see is slow-speed rail exploited to its potential The rails are (mostly) there. The trains go by my house a dozen times or more a day, and…? The stops have been decommissioned, and the passenger schedules gutted. This is not so much a state as a federal issue, since the federal government continues to subsidize highways (and Exxon, et al.) at the expense of more-energy-efficient-per-mile rail travel.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:08 AM
 
Location: On the Rails in Northern NJ
12,381 posts, read 23,320,337 times
Reputation: 4519
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
What amazing thread drift in this thread. I've seen schizophrenic hippies on thorazine that could hold a more direct train of thought. Drugs, power, wind power, Rutland city problems, other New England state issues, unions, and now rails to trails, I've seen snow that drifts less... although maybe high speed bicycles on old railbeds could be a way of commuting.

It is fairly obvious that high speed rail in Vermont is a no go. At construction expense measured in the millions of dollars per mile, ongoing high maintenance costs, and low ridership - even if everyone in the state commuted twice daily on it - it just ain't goinna happen, thanks for playing. The thread was bizarrely entertaining though.
Its under Construction as we speak 110-130mph is High speed Rail by Northeastern Standards. The first line that is being upgraded to 125mph is the Vermonter from St. Albans to New Haven , all tracks , switches , signals , bridges are being replaced and all stations are being restored or expanded. The Upgraded Vermonter will be reduced to 4hrs and 20 mins between New Haven and St. Albans along with 6 round trips north of Brattleboro instead of 1 roundtrip. Brattleboro-Springfield will have trains every hour and Springfield-New Haven every 15-45mins once everything is completed by 2025. The line will be Eventually Electrified from Brattleboro South and over to Boston to provide a Inland Regional Service. The line will also be double tracked from Brattleboro to Springfield and 2-3 tracks between Springfield and New Haven....allowing for increased service and express trains. Passing sidings will be added between St. Albans and Brattleboro. Then there's the Ethan Allen Expansion North to Burlington/St. Albans , that will cost about 70 million $. The Vermonter/Knowledge Corridor Upgrades will cost about 660 Million $ and once completed should carrier about 70-80,000 daily passengers , it could be higher if the other Rail lines get built like the Central Corridor which would run between Brattleboro and New London or the Western line between Rutland and Greenfield....

New England/Northeast is forging ahead full steam with its Rail Network its not Alabama....where the concept is foreign and scary to many. Amtrak accounts for 70% of the Intercity Travel Market up from 20% back in 2000 and with the upgrades underway and the Airlines charging a fortune I don't see that changing... New England with its current pace could be finished with their Railroad Master Plan by 2030.... With a Reduction in Travel times by 3hrs on some lines... 3and a half hrs to New York City from Portland,Maine or Burlington,Vermont is a real possibility one day...

Trains like these could be operating between Brattleboro and New Haven by 2025....once the full build is completed...


METRO-NORTH--9118 arr Mamaroneck OB by milantram, on Flickr


METRO-NORTH--9264+9215 at Rye IB by milantram, on Flickr


METRO-NORTH--9261 arr Rye IB. 21 of 2 by milantram, on Flickr
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:59 AM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,057,353 times
Reputation: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexis4Jersey View Post
Its under Construction as we speak 110-130mph is High speed Rail by Northeastern Standards. The first line that is being upgraded to 125mph is the Vermonter from St. Albans to New Haven , all tracks , switches , signals , bridges are being replaced and all stations are being restored or expanded. The Upgraded Vermonter will be reduced to 4hrs and 20 mins between New Haven and St. Albans along with 6 round trips north of Brattleboro instead of 1 roundtrip. Brattleboro-Springfield will have trains every hour and Springfield-New Haven every 15-45mins once everything is completed by 2025. The line will be Eventually Electrified from Brattleboro South and over to Boston to provide a Inland Regional Service. The line will also be double tracked from Brattleboro to Springfield and 2-3 tracks between Springfield and New Haven....allowing for increased service and express trains. Passing sidings will be added between St. Albans and Brattleboro. Then there's the Ethan Allen Expansion North to Burlington/St. Albans , that will cost about 70 million $. The Vermonter/Knowledge Corridor Upgrades will cost about 660 Million $ and once completed should carrier about 70-80,000 daily passengers , it could be higher if the other Rail lines get built like the Central Corridor which would run between Brattleboro and New London or the Western line between Rutland and Greenfield....

New England/Northeast is forging ahead full steam with its Rail Network its not Alabama....where the concept is foreign and scary to many. Amtrak accounts for 70% of the Intercity Travel Market up from 20% back in 2000 and with the upgrades underway and the Airlines charging a fortune I don't see that changing... New England with its current pace could be finished with their Railroad Master Plan by 2030.... With a Reduction in Travel times by 3hrs on some lines... 3and a half hrs to New York City from Portland,Maine or Burlington,Vermont is a real possibility one day...

Trains like these could be operating between Brattleboro and New Haven by 2025....once the full build is completed...
Well, Amtrak is government run and it's no surprise a government subsidized entity would waste money. just an example, Amtrack Shows Government Waste At Work: The 16 Dollar Hamburger Your Taxes Fund. This one is older, but it still applies to this day, Reason Foundation - Amtrak's Waste Is Being Rewarded. I'm a little baffled (i shouldn't be since the government has their hand in this) that they would want to upgrade a rail system to Vermont at the cost of 100's of millions of dollars when we are one of two states in the country with declining population (population growth has been flat for over a decade) and from a recent study conducted through 300,000 daily commuters, less than 1% of Vermonters use any form of public transportation.
I'm not opposed to rail transport, but spend the money in regions that will really benefit. Then to top it all off, the cost of rail travel is ridiculous. High speed rail from New Haven to St Albans is really not a dream come true at 4.5 hrs. It's cheaper to drive your car and get there in the same amount of time. Amtrak can't even compete with greyhound when it comes to cost. If my family and I could drive to Florida cheaper than taking the train to New Haven, guess what we will do?
Nexis4Jersey, this is not directed towards you, this is my rant on more wasteful spending with money the government doesn't have to waste. I'm not sure how old you are, but the government has been making rail look like the next best thing since sliced bread since Amtrak began operations in 1971. I have not seen it yet.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Live - VT, Work - MA
819 posts, read 1,266,921 times
Reputation: 606
68, I agree with much of what you said there.

Believe it or not, I'm a rail fan, particularly freight rail, always have been. I'm not a fan of high speed passenger service in VT based on the fact it doesn't seem to make sense. I do like seeing some of the increased freight useage in VT as it can be a very efficient and cost efficient method of transporting a lot of heavy goods.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,751 posts, read 53,902,796 times
Reputation: 30011
"The Vermonter/Knowledge Corridor Upgrades will cost about 660 Million $ and once completed should carrier about 70-80,000 daily passengers"

Judging from past participation in Vermont, that 70 passengers figure looks about right.

To give you an idea of the insanity, to have 80,000 daily passengers in Vermont, every single resident in the entire state (those in nursing homes and infant children included) would have to take a train journey once EVERY 7.825 days. Perfect blue rosebuds are going to bloom out of my backside before that happens.

High speed rail in the U.S. is largely pork project. We had a proposal in Florida for HSR between Miami and Orlando that had to be voted on. The residents wisely voted it down. Mickey Mouse was not interested in going to Miami, and Miami could care less about Orlando.

I've said it before, I'll say it again, passenger rail is a concept from the 1800s that is totally outdated. MASS transportation on fixed schedules was designed around getting large groups of factory workers to work at the sign-in time and home sometime after the work was done. Inter-city transportation was intended for fast transportation of individuals long distances without the need for them being workers involved with the process of moving their own butts. That niche is covered now by airplanes.

The Boston and Maine Railroad and others tried to give up passenger service and replace it with air service because the corporate execs knew that air travel was the future. The government intervened and stopped them. That shows you how much belief those who knew the workings of rail had in it for passenger service.

High speed rail is obviously possible, but it is a horrible fit for U.S. society. We might as well promote and fund an internet of African drummers. Consider:

Cost - actual costs per mile with amortization of equipment, property acquisition costs, and maintenance are astronomical. Ticket costs can in no way cover the actual costs.
Ecology - high speed rail requires fences to keep animals off the tracks. That containerizes animals into areas that limit their normal range, eliminating species completely from areas between river (and much needed water) and rails. Note that in New England, most rail routes are near a river.
Security - stretch a secure installation for mile upon mile, with long distances unguarded and you have security as porous as the Arizona/Mexico desert border. When I worked at VSH, we had a pt. who was somewhat famous for his attempts to derail the Montrealer because he liked trains and train crashes. When he "eloped" on a jaunt, the entire hospital went into panic mode.
Time wasted - this is the big show stopper. For medium distance travel, which is what HSR excels at, people have grown to expect two day or even one day travel/meeting/travel. For vacations, a max of a single 8 hr day to the destination and a single day back is standard. People do not want to waste time traveling, cruise ships and their foibles excepted. If a car can get from Burlington to Boston in 8 hours and arrive within a two hour personally selected window, and HSR gets you there in 3hrs but dumps you out at 9PM, guess which choice many people will make. With the internet now allowing reliable face-to-face video conferencing, and phones able to upload site pictures in real-time, passenger rail will suffer the same woes as the post office with its reduction in first class mail.

There is an alternative to HSR, I've said it so many times that I put it in a blog post:
Chickpea Soup: High speed passenger rail

I have no expectation of something like this happening. The graft and politics preclude it. That doesn't make HSR a viable alternative. HSR is a money waster, the fantasies of aficionados notwithstanding.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Winter Springs, FL
1,789 posts, read 4,057,353 times
Reputation: 925
This is a little blurb from a story done on the so called profitability of the Northeast Corridor:
A Washington Post story quotes Amtrak president Joe Boardman as saying the Northeast Corridor, between Boston and Washington, is making its owner money. In fact, Boardman goes on to say, the Acela Express service enjoys a profit margin of 40 percent. You’ll find that story here (the statement is made on page 3).

The story ended up on Trainorders.com this week and provoked a firestorm of responses. But all they did was generate a lot of smoke. Nobody sought to check the underlying facts, available to anyone who looks on Amtrak’s website. To see for yourself, go here and call up the “Monthly Performance Report” for September 2010, which has audited financial results for each Amtrak route for fiscal 2010, which ended last Sept. 30.

So is Boardman right? Go to page APP-19. It shows Acela Express revenues of $450 million and after all direct and indirect expenses, a profit of $105 million, for a profit margin of 23 percent. Other NEC trains show a loss of $43 million on revenues of $470 million. Well, 23 percent is not the same as 40 percent. But as Boardman says, taken together, the NEC trains covered all their direct and indirect costs, with $61 million left over.

The results are better if you call up the March 2011 “Monthly Performance Report,” covering the first seven months of fiscal 2011. The Acela Express enjoys a profit margin of 31 percent, the rest of the NEC breaks even (almost), and the corridor as a whole is $71 million to the good. So while Amtrak’s boss exaggerates the Acela’s profit margin a tad, he’s correct in the larger sense. Give Joe a passing grade of B.

But in that Washington Post story, Boardman qualifies his statement in one important respect. To cover the Northeast Corridor’s capital costs, Amtrak still needs a government subsidy, he says. That is correct. How much are capital costs, on average? For the answer to that, go back to that same link and refer to page 4 of the 2009 report titled, “Northeast Corridor State of Good Repair Spend Plan.” There, it estimates the NEC’s annual, normalized capital needs the next 15 years as $368 million for infrastructure and equipment. Last fiscal year’s NEC operating profit of $61 million covers only one-sixth of that capital need.
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